Unequal Pay campaign

2019 - European Unequal Pay Day

Building on the success of the Unequal Pay Day in 2018 and in 2017, this year we are again marking this day.

But what does "Unequal Pay Day" mean?
From 4 November on, women work for free

In the EU, women are paid 16% less than men on average. This means that, when compared to their male colleagues' salaries, women work 2 months out of 12 for free. 

Thus, on 4 November, PES Women together with Zij-Kant is calling for an action day to close the gender pay gap: the European Unequal Pay Day. This is a symbolic day to raise awareness on the fact that female workers in Europe still earn 16% less than men and which depicts that from this day on women effectively are working for free until the end of the year. 

This 16% pay gap can be explained by multiple causes: segregation on the labour market, missing leave schemes that allow women and men equally to combine private life and careers, unpaid household and care responsibilities, to name but a few.

While the European pay gap of 16% translates into two full months of unpaid labour and thus leads to the European Unequal Pay Day on the 4 November, on national level this day can fall earlier or later in the year, depending on the respective pay gap in each Member State.

We are encouraging people to:

  • send a postcard to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen asking for action to close the gender pay gap
  • share the e-postcard on their social media accounts
  • share our out-of-office reply, to underline the fact that from 4 November until the end of the year, women are working "for free"

Materials to download

out of office

Out-of-office reply

Click on the relevant link below to open the image, and right-click to save.


Campaign video: Let's talk about gender pay gap

Click on the links below to download the video (.zip) with the relevant language subtitles.



2018 - European Unequal Pay Day

career woman

In order to mark the Unequal Pay Day in 2018, PES Women, together with Zij-Kant, organised online actions. 

Open your mind_Close the gap

For the European action day, PES Women launched a social media campaign in the run-up to the European Unequal Pay Day. Under the slogan ‘Open your mind_Close the gap’ the campaign provided colourful visuals with facts and figures on the gender pay gap as well as on underlying causes that lead to unequal salaries.

2017 - European Unequal Pay Day

Family photo unequal pay day 2017

Unequal Pay Day Europe, 31 October 2017

This was the first time that PES Women, together with Zij-Kant, marked the European Unequal Pay Day.

Actions were led both online and offline to sensitise to the fact that, due to the fact that women are paid on average 16% less than their male counterparts, they effectively work for free 2 months each year.